President Muhammadu Buhari wednesday appealed to the international community to promote a platform for knowledge sharing from the output of science and research to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also ahead of the planned resumption of flight operations, the federal government has banned non-travellers from the airports and also advised persons coming to pick or drop travellers to remain inside their vehicles until the travellers exit the airports’ entrances.
The president, in his presentation during a virtual Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, said Nigeria would support and be part of any joint and collective action plan at both the regional and global levels to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout.
The summit was co-hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President and African Union (AU) Chairman, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Senegal President and co-chair of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Macky Sall.
A statement by the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari implored the summit to be united to contain the virus, which he said knew no borders.
The president advocated the deployment of unity of purpose to fight the pandemic which he said had threatened livelihoods, and the society to its root, reiterating that humanity must be at the forefront of the pursuit of common prosperity.
”As we face a common pervasive and invisible enemy, it is important that we all remain united to save our shared humanity, because this virus knows no borders.
”The fight against a global pandemic that continues to take so many lives, threaten livelihoods and challenging the very fabric of societies, requires enhanced cooperation and worldwide solidarity.
”I seize this opportunity to reiterate the need for this summit to put humanity at the centre of our vision for common prosperity.
”We must learn lessons and share knowledge from research, as we develop more creative, responsive and humane health systems, improve crisis management protocols and support each other in the battle against COVID-19,’’ Buhari said.
He commended the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres, for launching COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for low and middle-income countries to address health emergency, social and economic consequences of the crisis and also strengthen the recovery efforts of most vulnerable countries.
He also commended the leadership of the World Health Organisation (WHO), for its advice to Nigeria, which he said enabled the country to make necessary moves to enlighten its people on steps to take to avoid contracting and spreading the virus.
Buhari acknowledged Chinese support to Nigeria which has tremendously strengthened the effort to combat COVID-19.
The president provided an update on what his administration had done since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.
”From the onset of the pandemic, we in Nigeria instituted strong surveillance and infection prevention as well as control measures and made provisions to strengthen our testing capacities.
”Several well-equipped treatment and isolation centres were set up across the country to increase bed capacity.
”In the spirit of international collaboration, medical experts in Nigeria participated by video link in learning and experience-sharing exercises organised by experts from various countries, including China,” Buhari said.
The Chinese president told participants that the summit was convened to discuss a joint response to COVID-19 and renew fraternity with Africa.
Jinping told the summit that the world must mobilise resources and do whatever it takes to protect lives, assuring them that China will do all it can to support procurement of supplies and send medical experts, among others.
The Chinese president explained that China and Africa account for almost one-third of the global population and pledged to increase support for Africa.
Jinping, the statement added, promised to make $2 billion available in two years to support WHO in the fight against the pandemic.